Women’s World Cup: Australia, India make it three wins in a row

West Indies was bowled out for 48 for a 10-wicket defeat to South Africa.

Ellyse Perry admitted to facing the “biggest test” in the form of New Zealand in the tournament so far.   -  Reuters

Australia and India both made it three wins from three as they closed on semifinal places at the Women's World Cup on Sunday, while West Indies was bowled out for just 48.

Australia made New Zealand pay for a below-par total by reaching a target of 220 for the loss of five wickets with eight balls to spare at Bristol. Ellyse Perry, who made her name as a fast bowler, scored 71 as she reached the landmark of 2,000 one-day international runs. "Today has been our biggest test against a fantastic team in New Zealand, they always give us a tough game," said Perry.

India was held to 169 for nine by Pakistan at Derby only to bowl out its arch-rival for just 74 for a 95-run win, with left-arm spinner Ekta Bisht taking five for 18. "She's delivered time and again for India and I'm very proud of her," said India captain Mithali Raj of Bisht.

Earlier, West Indies, the reigning World Twenty20 champion, slumped to a 10-wicket defeat by South Africa as its campaign suffered a new low in Leicester

Chedean Nation, with 26, was the only West Indies batter to make double figures as South Africa captain Dane van Niekerk became the first bowler, in either men's or women's international cricket, to take four wickets without conceding a run in her final figures.

‘Surreal’

But the real damage to the West Indies' hopes was done by Marizanne Kapp and Shabnim Ismail, who reduced the Caribbean side to 16 for five. Kapp took four for 14 and van Niekerk an astonishing four for none in 3.2 overs. "It was quite surreal, if I could script it I would not have written it like that," said van Niekerk.

To make matters even worse for the West Indies, it dropped both South Africa openers off successive balls, the South Africans completing their chase in just 6.4 overs. "I think their bowling was very good...But from our side, we just needed to execute our skills much better," said West Indies opener Hayley Matthews, out for four.

West Indies' total was the lowest score at a World Cup since Denmark was bowled out for 47 by England in 1993, although Pakistan still hold the record in One-Day Internationals after managing just 27 against Australia in 1997.

On a day when all the teams in the tournament were in action, England overpowered Sri Lanka by seven wickets at Taunton as it made it two wins from three. Recalled spinner Laura Marsh took four for 45 as Sri Lanka was held to 204 for eight, with Chamari Athapaththu, fresh from her stunning 178 not out against Australia, caught behind for one off Nat Sciver.

England captain Heather Knight made 82 and wicketkeeper Sarah Taylor, an unbeaten 74 - her first fifty since returning to the side following anxiety issues. "We knew she was batting well but to go out and do it in the middle is really pleasing after the last year she has had," said Knight of Taylor.

All the teams involved will play each other the once, with the top four going on to the semifinals. South Africa, England and New Zealand are in the chasing pack behind Australia and India. But Sri Lanka, Pakistan and the West Indies are in danger of being cast adrift, with all three teams yet to win a match.